Podge’s Belgian Beer Tours

tour archive

Toer de Geuze & LambicLand 2024

Thursday 02 May 2024 - Monday 06 May 2024

This is our classic Tour taking in the biennial Toer de Geuze, based in the luxury Hotel Keizershof in Aalst. Come and join us for a Tour round LambicLand and the incomparable spontaneously fermented beers of Belgium. Read more.

The 30 Years & Still Going Tour

Wednesday 06 March - Sunday 10 March 2024

This is a great beer Tour to celebrate 30 years of Podge's Belgian Beer Tours which began in 1994. Our stay for five days, four nights is at the luxury Hotel Park in beery Kortrijk, city of the Battle of the Golden Spurs. Read more.

Christmas in Gent 2023

Saturday 23 December - Wednesday 27 December 2023

We love Belgium (and winter beers) at Christmas and we love taking a coach full of like-minded people. For Christmas 2023 we are based in Ghent in East Flanders. Our hotel for our five day, four night Tour is the Ibis Ghent Centrum St Baafs Kathedraal Hotel, from where we will explore Belgium at Christmas-time. Read more.

Hops & Heuvelland Tour

Wednesday 06 September - Sunday September 2023

This is our popular Hop Harvest Tour based in West Flanders. Our stay for five days, four nights is the lovely Hotel Oude Abdij in Lo. We'll be visiting plenty of brilliant beer cafes, breweries, a hop farm, the Hop Museum in Poperigne and some special beer bars in Siobhan's favourite area, the hilly 'Heuvelland'. Read more.

The Namur Tour - Capitale de la Bière

Wednesday 05 July - Sunday 09 July 2023

This is a brand new Wallonian Beer Tour based in Hotel Namur Centre, in the beautiful capital of Wallonia, Namur. This is a five day, four night Tour exploring the breweries, beer cafes, castles and towns of this lovely area of Belgium. We are based in Namur and will also visit the beautiful town of Dinant. Read more.

Beer & Battlefields - The Great Thirst World War Tour

Sunday 14 May 2023 – Thursday 18 May 2023

This is a five day, four night Tour exploring the First World War battlefield sites of West Flanders with particular focus on Siobhan's research subject of Alcohol, Morale and Discipline in the British Expeditionary Force 1914 - 1918 in the Poperinge area. This fits nicely alongside her expertise in Belgian beer and she will share all this with Travellers on this brilliant Beer & Battlefields Tour. Read more.

The Belgian Black Beer Tour

Thursday 16 March 2023 - Tuesday 21 March 2023

This brand new Tour is a must for Black Beer lovers. It is a six-day Tour staying for five nights in the great beer city of Antwerp. Read more.

Christmas in Bruges 2022

Saturday 24 December - Wednesday 28 December 2022

We love Belgium at Christmas and dark Belgian beers. This year we are booked in at Beautiful Bruges, the Belgian town nearest to the heart of your guide, Siobhan McGinn. Read more.

Operation Belgian Beer: WW2 & Beer in Antwerp Province Tour

Wednesday 14 September – Monday 19 September 2022

This is a six day Tour looking at beer in Antwerp Province, and the WW2 fight for the bridgeheads in this area in September 1944. We are staying in Geel, perfect for exploring the sights and action connected with the Battle of Geel, 8–23 September 1944 happening at the same time as the more famous Operation Market Garden further north. There will be plenty of brewery visits, excellent beer cafes, as well as following the WW2 action along this part of the Schelde, and focusing on the fate of Avro Lancasters and the Scottish Regiments. Read more.

Beer on the Waterfront

Tuesday 9 August - Sunday 14 August 2022

An excellent summer beer Tour featuring the Belgian coast, rivers, canals and inland waterways and the breweries, beer cafes and restaurants which inhabit them. Staying for five nights, six days at the centrally based at Novotel in Gent, that most beautiful of Flemish cities with an astonishing density of brilliant beer bars. Read more.

Taste of Trappist Tour

Friday 10 June - Tuesday 14 June 2022

This is a brand new Tour for those who like their Trappist Beers. We are staying at the Monasterium hotel in central Gent, a former monastery, we will take in the Tournée Trappiste Festival on Sunday 12 June 2022 in the West Flanders beer-village of Vleteren. This Tour will visit the more northerly Trappist monastery/breweries/brewery taps in Belgium and the Southern Netherlands. Read more.

The Toer de Geuze & LambicLand Revisited Tour

Thursday 28 April - Monday 02 May 2022

This is our classic tour exploring the world's most complex beers in the simplest cafes, spending five days and four nights in LambicLand, sampling the worlds rarest beers packed with the flavour of the terroir of the Payottenland, a small area West of Brussels in Belgium. Read more.

Norfolk & Norwich Beer, Broads & Bitterns Tour

Monday 30 August to Friday 03 September 2021

This five day Tour is based in Norwich, Norfolk and explores the beers and breweries and historical sights of Norfolk and Norwich. A 'slotter' as Podge would have called it whilst we wait to get to Belgium. We are based for four nights in the Best Western George in Norwich and included in the Tour are a visit to Woodfordes Brewery Tap, a Steam train ride on the Bure Valley railway, a Broads Boat Tour, a visit to Norwich Cathedral, the herring museum at Great Yarmouth, and a trip to Horsey Gap to see the seals and much more. Read more.

Tour 99 / Christmas in Antwerp 2019

Sunday 22 December 2019 – Friday 27 December 2019

We love Belgium (and winter beers) at Christmas and we love taking a coach full of like-minded people. If you want something different to the usual Christmas routine, why not come away with us and get driven around Flanders (and the Netherlands) in a coach to eat and drink in warm cosy surroundings and sample the finest offerings of Belgian beer culture. Read more.

Tour 98 / The In Flanders (Hop) Fields Tour

Friday 27 September – Tuesday 1 October 2019

This brand new Tour is a four-night Tour staying at the pretty Oude Abdij Hotel in Lo at a beautiful time of year. It will explore the beers and hops of West Flanders at the end of the hop picking season, but will also include a unique chance to find out what was going on with beer 100 years ago in this area. More particularly, what British soldiers were drinking in Flanders which caused so many courts martials for drunkenness to take place, making it one of the top ‘crimes’ in the British Army. Siobhan will give in the field talks revealing new information coming to light in her researches into alcohol and the British army in the Great War from findings at The National Archives in Kew. Read more.

Tour 97 / The Waterloo Tour: Brabant’s Breweries & Battlefields

Thursday 8 August – Tuesday 13 August 2019

This new six day Tour encompasses an exploration of beer and battlefields in Belgium in the province of Brabant which covers the field of the Battle of Waterloo. We'll be visiting loads of the excellent smaller breweries packed into this area and staying at the beautiful Pentahotel in Leuven, in Flemish Brabant. Siobhan (Mrs Podge) is your guide to all things historical and knows her way round a Belgian beer too! Read more.

Tour 96 / LambicLand Revisited 2019

Wednesday 1 May - Monday 6 May 2019

This six day Tour is designed for those who love Belgium’s lambic beers and takes in the superb bi-annual lambic brewer and blender open days, the Toer de Geuze. Over the six days of the Tour we will endeavour to visit all of LambicLand's spontaneous beer brewers and blenders. Read more.

Tour 95 / Christmas in Antwerp 2018

Saturday 22 December – Thursday 27 December 2018

We love Belgium (and winter beers) at Christmas and we love taking a coach full of like-minded people. This year we are staying for five nights in the city of Antwerp at the central Ibis Hotel and we will spend Christmas Day in a brewery. Read more.

Tour 94 / Beer and Battlefields Armistice Tour

Tuesday 30 October – Sunday 4 November 2018

We are pleased to announce this new Beer and battlefields Tour focusing on the centenary of the end of the Great War. We will be staying in the comfortable and centrally based Novotel In Flanders Fields in Ypres. We are planning a day around First World War sites in Mons connected to the opening and closing of the Great War and where the Allied armies ended up on 11 November 2018 when the armistice ended the war at 11.00hrs. Read More.

Tour 93 / Beer on the Waterfront

Thursday 2 August - Tuesday 7 August 2018

This Tour is based at the excellent Novotel Gent Centrum Novotel Gent Centrum in the beery city of Ghent. On this Tour we will be eploring beer, breweries, cafes and beer-cuisine restaurants alongside the coast, rivers, canals, lakes and waterways of Belgium. Read more.

Tour 92 / Belgian Beer from the Wood

Thursday 3 May – Tuesday 8 May 2018

This Tour is based at the excellent four star Hotel Keizershof in the beery city of Aalst where we will explore old Flemish Reds & Browns, Lambic beers and barrel-aged beers. This Tour will include a day experiencing the fourth biennial Rondje Roodbruin, a one day tour around the traditional breweries producing the world-renowned Flemish Red-Brown beers. Read more.

Tour 91 / Beer & Battlefields 1918 Spring Offensive Tour

Friday 16 March – Wednesday 21 March 2018

This beer and battlefields Tour concentrates on the 1918 Spring Offensive or Kaiserschlacht (Kaiser's Battle), also known as the Ludendorff Offensive - a massive series of German attacks along the Western Front against the allies during the First World War which began on 21 March 1918 and marked the deepest advances by either side since 1914. Read more.

Tour 90 / Christmas in Antwerp 2017

Friday 22 December – Wednesday 27 December 2017

We love Belgium (and winter beers) at Christmas and we love taking a coach full of like-minded people. If you want something different to the usual Christmas routine, why not come away with us and get driven around Flanders in a coach to eat and drink in warm cosy surroundings and sample the finest offerings of Belgian beer culture. Read more.

Tour 89 / Passchendaele 1917 Centenary Tour

Sunday 29 October – Friday 3 November 2017

This special centenary tour visits the Flanders battlefields. If you are interested in both beer and battlefields this is the tour for you and is guaranteed to be like no other battlefield Tour. We will be exploring the Ypres Salient at the centenary of the Second Battle of Passchenedaele, the last desperate engagement of the Third Battle of Ypres offensive (31 July to 10 November 1917). Read more.

Tour 88 / The Hop Harvest Tour

Thursday 14 September – Monday 18 September 2017

This is a harvest festival tour with a difference. It’s based in Lo-Reninge in the hop growing district of Poperinge in West Flanders. We’ll be visiting breweries who famously brew from local hops and tasting their beers. We will visit local hop farms and see the harvest as well as attend the 2017 Beer and Hop Festival which is held in the town every three years and is a homage to the noble hop. Read more.

Tour 87 / Trappist & Abbey Beer Pilgrimage

Thursday 17 August – Tuesday 22 August 2017

This unique tour will explore Trappist and Abbey beers and will be a heavenly Belgian beer experience based in Ghent. On the Trappist side we hope to include a visit to the Westmalle Monastery Brewery Tap and In de Vrede at Westvleteren. For the abbey beer experience we hope to visit Averbode, Postel, Affligem and Tongerlo. Read more.

Tour 86 / Belgian Beer from the Wood

Wednesday 3 May – Monday 8 May 2017

This unique two centre tour is based in Kortrijk and Aalst, two perfect beer towns from which to explore Flemish Red Brown beers and Lambic beers. This Tour will look at wood and beer and how wood can be used to make beer taste interesting. We’ll also be looking at and tasting Belgian barrel-aged beers. This Tour will include the biennial Toer de Geuze on the Sunday 7 May 2017 which is a lambic-lovers heaven and a great day out in LambicLand. Read more.

Tour 85 / Christmas in Bruges 2016

Wednesday 21 December – Monday 26 December 2016

Join us for an alternative Christmas spending Christmas Day in a brewery! This popular Tour is based at the four star Hotel Academie in central Bruges. We go out every day on our coach for visits to cosy countryside bars, for meals in some of Belgium's best food and beer cafes and wrap up warm for visits to breweries with brewery tours and beer tastings. Get away from the turkey and tinsel and have a proper holiday with us! Read more.

Tour 84 / Beer on the front line: Ypres & The Somme

Tuesday 11 October 2016 – Sunday 16 October 2016

This special Beer & Battlefields Tour investigates beer and the Western Front, including time in the Ypres Salient, Arras (Vimy Ridge) and the Somme. Read more.

Tour 83 / Beer on the Tracks

Thursday 25 August – Tuesday 30 August 2016

Our 2016 Beer & Transport themed Tour focuses on trains, trams and beer in Belgium. This six day Tour is based at the luxury four star Hotel Keizershof in Aalst from which central East Flanders location we will explore, including a trip on the brilliant Belgian Coastal Tram. Read more.

Tour 82 / Flemish Breweries: Traditionalists & Trailblazers

Friday 13th May – Tuesday 17th May 2016

A new tour showcasing Belgian beer by looking back at traditional brewers and forward to innovators on the Belgian Beer scene. Read more.

Tour 81 / Belgian Beer from the Wood

Thursday 21 April – Monday 25 April 2016

This new and unique tour is based in the excellent four star Hotel Keizershof in Aalst from where we will explore old Flemish Reds & Browns, Lambic beers, and barrel-aged beers. This Tour will include the third biennial Rondje Roodbruin. Read more.

Tour 80 / Christmas in Bruges 2015

Monday 21 December – Saturday 26 December 2015

Based at the Hotel Academie in Bruges and spending Christmas Day eating and drinking at a warm, comfy brewery! Read more.

Tour 79 / Beer & Battlefields 2015

Thursday 22 October – Tuesday 27 October

Based at the Flanders Fields Novotel Ypres, this is a six day Tour guided by Siobhan McGinn who now has an MA in British First World War Studies from Birmingham University, specialising in Beer on the Western Front. Read more.

Tour 78 / Trains & Boats & Inclined Planes

Thursday 27 August – Monday 31 August 2015

This brilliant Tour is based in luxury downtown Novotel Gent in Flanders most beery city, Ghent, and is themed on a variety of Flemish transport. Read more.

Tour 77 / 1815–1915 Beer & Battlefield Centenary Tour

Wednesday 17 June – Monday 22 June 2015

This special six day Tour takes in the centenary of the Battle of Waterloo, fought on 18 June 1815 just south of Brussels and the 1915 battlefields of the Great War. Read more.

Tour 76 / LambicLand & Toer de Geuze

Friday 1 May – Tuesday 5 May 2015

This Tour is designed for those who love Belgium’s Lambic beers and takes in the superb bi-annual lambic day, the Toer de Geuze. Over the five days of the Tour we aim to visit all of Belgium’s lambic brewers and blenders and the best of the specialised lambic cafes of LambicLand. Read more.

Tour 75 / Flemish Beer & Culture Tour

Thursday 2 April – Monday 6 April 2015

This five day Tour offers a fantastic opportunity to sample Flemish beer and culture in Flanders at Easter time and on the weekend of the famous Tour of Flanders cycle race. This Tour will take in a quality selection of Flanders breweries, cafes, museums and cultural sites. Siobhan McGinn our resident historian will keep you informed on tour of the history and cultural background of the sites we will visit including the Battle of the Golden Spurs as we are staying in Kortrijk where it was fought in 1302. Read more.

Tour 74 / Christmas in Bruges 2014

Monday 22 December – Friday 26 December 2014

This has become one of our most popular Tours. Christmas day in a brewery! Fabulous Christmas buffet with meats, seafood and all paired with superb beers from Emelisse Brewery. We stay in a centrally based Bruges hotel and go out and about in our coach each day of the Tour. Read more.

Tour 73 / Beer & Battlefields Centenary 2014

Thursday 23 October – Tuesday 28 October 2014

This is a special centenary Tour in October 2014 to commemorate the settling of the front line in the Great War around the Ypres Salient in October 1914. We will be visiting some of the most historic sites one hundred years on especially those connected with the First Battle of Ypres (19 October – 22 November 1914) and taking in some of the areas historic beer culture too. Read more.

Tour 72 / Hops & Pops

Thursday 18 September – Monday 22 September 2014

This five day tour is based around the Poperinge area, known as ‘Pops’ to First World War British soldiers. This region is famous for its hops and we will focus on the hop plant and explore its relationship with beer in the Westhoek. Read more.

Tour 71 / Beer & Battlefields 2014

Thursday 22 May – Monday 26 May 2014

Our fifth Beer & Battlefields Tour in this special centenary year is once again fully guided by Siobhan McGinn, MA, currently undertaking a Masters Degree in British First World War Studies at Birmingham University. She will be guiding us around some well known and less well known sites across the immortal salient to explain their significance in the Great War, plus behind the lines to share the latest on her special research subject, Beer on the Western Front. Read more.

Tour 70 / Leuven & Antwerp

Saturday 26 April – Wednesday 30 April 2014

This fabulous Tour takes in two of Belgium’s finest cities, the twin Flemish jewels of Leuven and Antwerp, both long famed for their culture and beer. Read more.

Tour 69 / Bruges Beer Festival & Beyond 2014

Saturday 1 February – Wednesday 5 February 2014

This Tour takes in the annual Bruges Beer Festival as well as getting us out and about in Flanders. Read more.

You can also browse previous tours on our old website here.

About Podge’s Belgian Beer Tours

Podge's Belgian Beer Tours was founded by Podge, aka Chris Pollard back in 1994 and is now run full-time by his wife, co-beer-writer and co-traveller for thirty years, Siobhan McGinn. Belgium suited Podge, both being beerish and idiosyncratic. Life outside the mainstream appealed, which is why Podge & Siobhan spent so much time in a small country known to the few who share its secret delights and this need to taste, experience and know all about Belgian beer drove what would become Podge’s Belgian Beer Tours. Podge liked to tell people that he arranged the first tour so he could take a coach to Belgium and bring back beer for domestic use by the crateload. But that was only partly true. He couldn’t wait to share with his friends what he had discovered and enjoyed. Early tours were fun, exploratory and charmingly chaotic. In the days before Sat Nav to find breweries Podge relied on a ridiculously small-scale Michelin map on which breweries were unmarked and roads unnamed. One of the first breweries visited was De Bie Brewery supposedly in the village of Watou. Podge knew it was located on a street called Stoppelweg, but had no house number. How difficult could it be to find a working brewery down a small street? Podge got the coach to drive slowly down Stoppelweg until we were well out of the village and into the Flanders countryside. He made the coach stop outside the door of every house, got out and knocked at each door and enquired if they had a brewery out back. He found it. It was tiny and we had a brilliant time. This was the first of many small, out-of-the-way breweries run by mad enthusiasts which Podge would seek out, visit and support. This spirit of Podge’s Tours remains vested in Siobhan since his passing in 2018 and she is happy and proud to carry on Podge’s Belgian Beer Tours.

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